Stearns Nursing and Rehab Center named in med mal complaint

Kelly Holleran Sep. 21, 2009, 10:58am

The administrator of the estate of a recently deceased woman alleges the woman developed decubitus ulcers while living in Stearns Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, which caused her pain and suffering until her death.

Mary J. Upton, administrator of Ruby A. Garris's estate, claims Ruby A. Garris lived at Stearns Nursing and Rehabilitation Center from March 20, 2006, through March 8, 2007.

While living at the center, Garris was not properly supervised, was neglected, was not provided a 24-hour nursing service to meet her needs and was not provided with enough staff to meet her needs along with the needs of her co-residents, according to the complaint filed Sept. 15 in Madison County Circuit Court.

In addition, employees at Stearns Nursing and Rehabilitation Center failed to timely notify Garris's physician of changes in her condition, failed to provide Garris with necessary treatment to prevent her development of decubitus ulcers and failed to ensure that a nursing plan designed to meet Garris's needs was developed, the suit states.

Because of these and other negligent actions, Garris developed decubitus ulcers on various parts of her body, which caused her pain and suffering until her death on Sept. 21, 2007, the complaint says.

In addition to Stearns Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, other named defendants include Aurora Cares, doing business as Tara Cares, Tara Midwest, Tara Pharmacy SE, Tara Therapy and Health Care Reit, Inc.

Tara Cares provided management services to Stearns, while Tara Midwest and Health Care Reit leased the building, equipment and premises to Stearns. Tara Pharmacy provided pharmaceutical services to the center and Tara Therapy provided speech and physical therapy to residents, Upton claims.

In the two-count suit, Upton is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus attorney's fees and costs.

Stephen C. Buser of the Law Office of Stephen C. Buser in Columbia will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-978.

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